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Bergamo is best known as an airport for budget airlines. Many people go from the airport straight through to Milan or Lake Garda and skip Bergamo. Yet Bergamo is particularly attractive, with an old town (Cittá Alta) and a lower newer town, which dates largely from the 19th century, the Cittá Bassa.
The medieval walled upper town is full of interesting sights. Both the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore and the church of San Michele al Pozzo Bianco are elaborately decorated with frescoes, which have been beautifully restored. Do not forget to visit the Cappella Colleoni, the Palazzo del Podestá and the Palazzo della Ragione. The latter palace was rebuilt in the 16th century in the style of the early 12th century.
Need a break from all the impressions? Choose one of the terraces on the charming squares Piazza Vecchia and Piazza Duomo. Looking for a special place to have a drink? From the Piazza Mercato delle Scarpe (where the cable car arrives and departs downtown) take the Via gombito and turn right at Piazza Mercato del Fieno. Keep going straight until you can not go any further and you are near an old monastery. In the back of the monastery is an open bar with fantastic views over the city! The bar is only open during weekends (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) and there are regular concerts and performances too.
From Bergamo you can visit by foot or by the second cable car (from the Cittá Alta) the village of San Vigilio. It sits on a mountain top and has remnants of an ancient castle. Obviously you'll have breathtaking views of the surroundings here. There are some good restaurants: it is particularly nice to visit in the evening and have dinner there.
Bergamo is near Lake Iseo, one of the smaller lakes in northern Italy but also less touristy than the larger Lake Garda. Located in Lake Iseo is an extraordinary little island, that is no less than 400 meters above water!
Lovers of modern art should head to the sculpture park Parco delle Sculture di Franciacorta near Erbusco, just south of Lake Iseo and close to the A4 motorway. It is an outdoor park of more than 60.000 hectares in the midst of vineyards. It is an initiative of the Terra Moretti Hotel Group which established the International Third Millenium Art Prize in 2000. The park exhibits the works of the winners. The park is open to the public every first Sunday of the month.
Lake Garda is an extremely popular tourist destination. It is fun to drive around the lake with your rental car and stop in charming villages and towns. But you can also cross Lake Garda by boat. There are several options. The car boat is the cheapest options and the only one if you want to take your car. Hydrofoils and motorized catamarans go faster, but are much more expensive too. A romantic way to explore the lake from the water is the steamer. However, this boat only stops at the larger places around the lake.
In the wooded valley of the river Brembo lies the San Pellegrino mineral. You might have heard off the spring water with the same name. The source surfaces on the right bank of the Brembo and the water supposedly would have a very beneficial effect on people suffering from gout and disorders of the bladder and liver. With again a cable car you can see the San Pellegrino Vetta and in the restaurant there you can not only enjoy a good meal but also a nice view.
Bergamo is located in a beautiful environment, with in addition to the flora and fauna many other sights. Like the castles that are scattered over the area. Near Caverno the Castello Mazzotti from the 16th century and the Malpaga castle with its special frescoes from Romanino about the visit of the Danish king Christian. The Castello Borromeo in Cassano d'Adda was built between the 13th and 15th century and is situated high above the Adda river. In Trezzo sull'Adda you can find the remains of the Castello di Trezzo.
Most of the old upper town is pedestrianized. There are some parking spaces, such as Porta Garibaldi and Viale delle Mura (along the old city wall), but they are often full. Save yourself driving around aimlessly and park your car in one of the (underground) car parks in the lower town. You can take the cable car to Cittá Alta, the upper town.
The Bergamo Airport is located five kilometers southeast of the city. Bergamo Airport is officially called Bergamo Airport. From the airport, the city of Bergamo is very easily accessible. From the exit of the airport do not take the exit to the Autostrada (A4 Milan-Venice) but go straight. You then come to a roundabout. The left turn (three quarters of the roundabout) leads to Bergamo.